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OPTIONAL: Personal Resistance - Influencing Others

If you have time or want to extend the lesson, you can add the following optional activity.

  1. Explain that sometimes a person who feels strongly about an issue may try to influence the way other people think about the issue.
  2. Ask your students:
    What are some ways that a person can influence what others think?
    (Possible answers might include: giving speeches, through art, music/songs, writing, commercials, etc.) You may want to write responses on the white board, chalk board, or a piece of chart paper.
  3. Point out that one type of writing and art that influences people is satire. Make sure your students are familiar with the term "satire" before you proceed. You may also want to provide some examples of satire and/or ask your students for examples. (Possible examples could include: political cartoons, television shows like The Colbert Report or The Daily Show with John Stewart, books such as Animal Farm or Gulliver's Travels.)
  4. Explain that Harry Golden was a Hungarian-born Jewish journalist who spoke out against the things he saw wrong with society, including segregation. From 1942 – 1968, Harry Golden published the Carolina Israelite, a Jewish newspaper distributed in the Charlotte, North Carolina area. One of the satirical articles he wrote for the Carolina Israelite was called the "Golden Vertical Negro Plan."
  5. Distribute copies of the document study "A satirical essay by Harry Golden" to your students. Explain that unlike the other stories we've heard, in which the authors were reflecting back on an earlier time, this document was written in the midst of the Civil Rights Movement, and was intended to be read by people at that time. Have several students take turns reading the document out loud. Pause to provide historical context as necessary. Then discuss the essay, using the discussion questions on the worksheet.
  6. After discussing Harry Golden's essay, you might want to have your students do one of the following activities in class or as a homework assignment:
    • Write a "This I believe" statement about a contemporary issue that the student feels strongly about. (See Justice Wise Polier's "This I believe" in Unit 1, Lesson 3 or visit ThisIBelieve.org for other examples.)
    • Have each student identify a contemporary social issue about which he/she feels strongly, and then write a satiric essay, write a monologue for a satiric news show, or draw a political cartoon about it.

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "OPTIONAL: Personal Resistance - Influencing Others." (Viewed on September 1, 2014) <http://jwa.org/node/11794>.

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